Show 361, February 22, 2020: Tom Bergin’s, Los Angeles – Executive Chef Erik Punzalan – Part Two

Erik Punzalan of Tom BerginsTom Bergin’s located on S. Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles (just south of Wilshire Blvd) is a landmarked institution. Also famous as the “House of Irish Coffee.” Opened in 1936 it holds one of the area’s longest continuously running liquor licenses. It even has its own parking lot – a true, but convenient, rarity in Los Angeles these days.

It’s had its ups and downs since the 2nd owner in its long history sold the establishment in 2011. Last year it was threatened with certain demolition but the new, astute property owners listened to the outpouring of community support and has reopened it under the culinary guidance of Chef Erik Punzalan (ex-Firefly.)

As of March 1st it’s Dinner Wednesday thru Sunday (closed on Monday & Tuesday) and opening @ 11:00 a.m. on Sunday for Brunch and then serving continuously until 1:00 a.m. To streamline service guests order at the oval bar and a server efficiently brings your meal to you.

The food is elevated Irish pub food that is both tasty and fairly priced. A generous portion of Shepherd’s Pie (short rib, seasonal veggies, Reggiano, mashed potatoes and gravy) goes for $14. A standout dessert is the Dutch Apple Pie (baked in-house) with housemade Bailey’s Ice Cream.

Of course the ample bar is well stocked with Irish Whiskey, Scotch, Bourbon & American Whiskey, Rye Whiskey, Tequila, Gin and Rum. For something different in a cocktail try the Paloma. It’s Altos Blanco or Del Maguey Vida Mezcal, grapefruit bitters, grapefruit soda and Tajin rim.

We continue our conversation with Chef Erik Punzalan.